Have you ever had a bad breakout that you ended up making worse while trying to make it better? I think we’ve probably all been there at least once.
Breakouts can be stubborn and confusing, which can have us taking desperate measures to experience some relief.
When you’re breaking out the last thing you want to do is make it worse.
Below are a few very common mistakes that we might make when trying to speed up the healing of a breakout. If you want to avoid unnecessary inflammation, discoloration, scarring, and both physical and mental anguish, then make sure you don’t do any of these things when you’re breaking out.
⦁ DON’T CHANGE/ADD ANYTHING TO YOUR ROUTINE
If you’ve recently added a new product and you think it might be the cause of your new breakout, then definitely stop using it.
But when you’re experiencing a breakout it’s also not the time to get creative and cavalier with your routine. This will only increase the risk of further irritating your skin when you’re breaking out, and make it harder for your skin to heal.
Stick to what’s simple, and what your skin knows and responds to. Even if you’ve never had anything that made a huge improvement, choose whatever your skin responded the least negatively to.
You can try new acne and spot treatments during breakouts (when else would you try them?) but remember that they can often cause purging and take some time to work.
⦁ DON’T STOP MOISTURIZING
I know that when my skin is freaking out, and it’s an oily, blotchy mess, it feels like moisturizer is just adding fuel to the fire. And if it’s a new moisturizer, it might be.
But moisturizer is also so important for your skin’s protective barrier that not using it can make your skin much worse. Your skin needs proper protection from the environment all the time, but especially if you’re using acne treatments that dry up the skin. Using acne treatments without a moisturizer can:
⦁ decrease their effectiveness
⦁ result in dryness, redness, and irritation
⦁ leave skin susceptible to damage and infection.
If you find your moisturizer feels heavy during oily breakouts, look for a lighter gel option, but don’t skip the moisturizer altogether.
⦁ DON’T PANIC
I know it’s easier said than done, but I can confidently say that this is one of the worst things you can do for your skin when you’re breaking out.
Most of the time a good routine is enough to nip a bad breakout in the bud. But adding stress about the breakout can lead to a skin reaction and worse breakouts. More of our acne may be caused by our stresses than we realize.
Instead, have confidence that your skin knows how to heal, sometimes we just need to give it some tools to get the job done.
⦁ DON’T USE ANY SKIN DEVICES
Although things like microneedling are amazing for skin, is not so amazing for use on areas where you’re breaking out.
Any abrasive treatments or anything that could potentially add irritation or damage to the area should wait until your skin is all healed up, and capable of handling a little roughing up.
⦁ DON’T PICK, POP, POKE, PROD, OR SQUEEZE
Popping pimples cause damage and spread bacteria, we know this, but poking and prodding can be just as bad.
I’m the worst offender. When I’m breaking out, my hands are all over my face, feeling every bump and curve of my inflamed and swollen pores.
Sometimes I feel to see if they’ve gone down, other times to see if any new ones have popped up. But all I’m really doing is putting my dirty hands (ok, not that dirty) all over my face.
I know this habit can be hard to stop, and some of us even do it unconsciously but try to make an effort to distract your hands in these moments. When you’re breaking out you need to be really strict with keeping your hands clean, and off your face as much as possible.
⦁ DON’T THROW OUT YOUR WHOLE ROUTINE
Sometimes a breakout can happen and last a really long time. This can have us re-evaluating our entire skincare routine, especially when it fails to relieve the bad breakout.
But sometimes the routine is still right, and something else is just off. If your routine has been working well then there’s little reason to think it’s all of a sudden not working. More likely, something else is affecting your skin, so look at any other recent life changes you might be experiencing:
⦁ More stress
⦁ Change in dietary habits
⦁ Change in activity level
⦁ Change in sleep
⦁ New hair products
⦁ Any new skin products
⦁ A new food (allergies)
Even when my skincare routine doesn’t have the gusto to get rid of a bad breakout on its own, I always settle nicely back into my old routine once it’s cleared up.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WHEN YOU’RE BREAKING OUT
When you’re breaking out it can feel like you have a giant list of things you shouldn’t do. Instead of focusing on these, we can also contemplate the things that are good for our skin during this time.
⦁ Keep everything clean that touches your face (phone, pillow, glasses).
⦁ Keep inflammation down with a cool compress.
⦁ Use healing and repairing masks like the Pumpkin Enzyme Masque.
⦁ Use acne and spot treatments sparingly.
⦁ Keep the skin clean and protect it (with sunscreen and moisturizer).
⦁ Be patient and consistent with your treatment.
⦁ Evaluate your routine/lifestyle to identify changes and possible contributing factors.
When you’re breaking out, knowing what to do and what not to do can make a huge difference in healing time. Sometimes even the littlest mistakes can have a big impact on our skin, so it’s important to pay attention to how our skin reacts to new changes in its environment.
What do you find makes your breakouts worse or better? Leave us a message below!
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